News Releases, College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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News from the
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Illinois
3225 Vet. Med. Basic Sciences Bldg.
2001 S. Lincoln Ave.
Urbana, IL 61802
November 13, 2013

Release on
Contact: Chris Beuoy

Illinois Veterinary College Receives Full Accreditation following National Review

The University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine was recently granted full accreditation status--the highest standard of achievement for veterinary medical education in the United States--by the Council on Education (COE) of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

"Successful re-accreditation is a great accomplishment, signifying our college's commitment to quality and continuous improvement through rigorous peer review," said Dean Herb Whiteley. "I want to thank all the faculty, staff, and students who participated in the months-long development of our self-study document and who met with the site team that visited our college."

The accreditation process involves an extensive self-study document prepared by the college to address 11 specific standards of education, ranging from organization, finances, and facilities to admissions processes, the curriculum, and outcomes assessment. In April a site-visit team--which included small and mixed animal practitioners from the U.S., a Canadian veterinarian, and the deans of three U.S. veterinary colleges--spent five days at the college's Urbana and Chicago locations, meeting with faculty, students and staff to verify and supplement the information in the self-study.

The University of Illinois veterinary program has enjoyed accreditation status since its first class graduated in 1952. To become licensed or certified for professional veterinary practice in the U.S., veterinarians must have graduated from an accredited institution. The accreditation review occurs every seven years.

The 2013 accreditation visit was the first since the college had introduced several new features that were highlighted in the site team's report, including:
  • An "innovative, integrated curriculum ... [that] provides clinical exposure early in the program";
  • The Clinical Skills Learning Center, an innovative resource for hands-on student learning and assessment which employs "a wide variety of creative Objective Structured Clinical Examinations to assess student achievement of the nine clinical competencies";
  • Web-based curriculum management software used to speed detection and response to concerns with a student's performance in class or students' feedback on course content and materials;
  • The Chicago Center for Veterinary Medicine, which provides an outstanding facility where students can engage in contemporary primary care practice, including dentistry;
  • Shelter medicine electives that expand students' experience with entry-level surgery.
The COE is the recognized accrediting body for veterinary doctoral programs in the U.S. and Canada and also accredits foreign veterinary colleges. The University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine is one of only 28 U.S. institutions currently accredited by the COE. Five accredited veterinary schools are located in Canada, and 13 more are located outside of North America.